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Good National Policies Improve Resiliency and Develop Sustainable Coconut Sector

("The Cocommunity" - Monthly APCC Newsletter
Volume 44, Series No. 7, 1 July 2014)

We greet our stakeholders in the coconut sector throughout the Asian and Pacific Region including our worldwide partners. The APCC Secretariat and the Ministry of Coconut Development & Janatha Estate Development in Sri Lanka welcome delegates of member countries and participants registered for the 46th APCC COCOTECH Conference & Coconut Festival 2014 in Colombo 7 – 11 July 2014 under the theme “Policies, Programs and Technologies Towards Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Sector”. Again another bi-annual opportunity for high level exchange of knowledge, experience, technological advancements and improved agronomic practices that are mutually beneficial to all stakeholders. Participants include Government Ministers and senior heads of departments from member countries of APCC who would be directly involved in impacting policy and deciding on the priorities to be in the content of national programs to be conducted in respective countries. The technical contributions provided in papers presented by research scientists, program implementors and commercial applications experienced by the private sector would result in framing important recommendations for consideration and possible adoption for implementation in coconut growing countries. For many there would be new ideas and concepts eminating from the conference proceedings to benefit SME level undertakings amongst farmers.

The country of India is current Chairman of APCC through the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Shri Sanjeev Chopra, who will be chair of the panel of delegates at the conference and follow through to chair the 51st APCC Session/Ministerial Meeting to be held in India in 2015. APCC congratulates the immediate past Executive Director of APCC, Mr. Romulo N. Arancon, Jr. on his appointment by the Government of Philippines to be the new Administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). Policy intervention is needed in many countries that will impact well on the development of the coconut sector hence the importance of experienced leadership in strategically important sector organisations.
It is interesting to observe the performance of non-traditional products and by-products of coconut on the global market. Large producing countries such as the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam lead the coconut sector in product innovation, diversification and value addition. Virgin coconut oil, coir products and coconut water are amongst those showing marked increases in export quantities from the producing countries. Virgin Coconut Oil increased by over 100% for the same period last year in the Philippines with large quantities exported to Canada with balance through Singapore, USA and Germany. The Indian Coir Industry has seen a 32% growth so far in 2014 compared to previous years with China market taking nearly 25% of total Indian exports of coir and coir products. USA is currently the leading importer of Coconut Water at over 820,000 liters per year that makes up 62% of coconut water exports. In producing countries much of the coconut water is obtained from desiccated coconut factories. This level of activity indicates improvement in technologies for processing, improvement in machinery and equipment used as well as the adaptation to high standards that meet consumer regulations for major importing countries.

APCC member countries contribute over 80% of products supplied to the global market. It is timely for the sector to consider moving towards determining market situations rather than not and to impact on development of product quality standards for emerging products to meet expectations of the consumer market. This calls for strengthening of relevant national institutions in respective countries and uniting them in effective dialogue and consultations to ensure benefits are passed on to coconut farmers.

We wish all participants a successful and beneficial COCOTECH Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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